Apple has announced that its contribution to the efforts to combat California's housing shortage, spending over $1 billion during the last 18 months.
"California's communities have shown their resilience in the face of immense challenges this past year," said Kristina Raspe, Apple vice president for Global Real Estate and Facilities, in a statement. "As we look to a brighter future ahead, Apple is committed to continuing our work with partners across the state to support these communities and help combat the housing crisis in meaningful ways."
"As we expand our efforts and move forward with our comprehensive plan to address housing in the state," she continued, "we're proud our work has made a tangible impact on the lives of so many Californians."
Describing the $1 billion as a "major milestone" in its commitment to combat the housing crisis, Apple says that it is backing "innovative housing solutions."
Reportedly, Apple has already helped "thousands of people in the state become homeowners for the first time." It has also provided funds toward the construction of "thousands of new affordable units," in its aim of "supporting at-risk communities."
Apple is working in partnership with Destination: Home, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. The work ranges from new building development, to expanding programs to help the homeless.
"I found out about Destination: Home from the community garden and kitchen where I volunteer," Alma Rodriguez told Apple. "Once the pandemic hit, it was very hard to provide for my family, and every dollar meant a lot to me."
When I found out about receiving the support I couldn't believe it — without that help we would have lost our internet and so much more," she continued. "I have always given back to my community, and this time my community gave back to me. I am so grateful that someone is fighting for us, especially in these times."
Apple says that with the Homeless Prevention System, it has supported more than 15,000 families since the start of the pandemic. Together with Destination: Home, Apple has helped fund the construction of more than 1,100 new affordable and supportive housing.
This supportive program has included mortgage and down payment assistance to low-income and moderate-income first-time buyers. It has benefited veterans, firefighters, and teachers such as Taylor Mestres and partner Keteria Lara.
"[We] wanted to break that generational system of constantly renting, and to have something with our name on it that was ours," Mestres and Lara told Apple. "[We knew] it would only be possible if we could find a down payment assistance program."
"[The] program is so rewarding and makes it so easy," continued Mestres. "[I hope to] advocate for it and open it to other people who made need it."
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